If it moved, the Red Wings hit it. If it bounced, they chased it. The Blackhawks kept passing and pressuring, and the Red Wings kept pressing and pressing, slamming bodies and pursuing pucks.

This was all energy and noise, and the reverberations are becoming very real. The Red Wings are transforming before our eyes, and on this night, they left the Blackhawks blinking to clear their heads. Series on? The Red Wings are keeping it on, ratcheting the pressure and physical play, and officially have given themselves a legitimate shot.

They hung on for a 3-1 victory Monday at loud-as-ever Joe Louis Arena, and there's nothing fluky about their 2-1 series lead. Jimmy Howard is playing his best clutch hockey, outperforming Corey Crawford in net. The Wings are using feisty youth and savvy stars and growing more determined to pull off what would be a huge upset.

The Red Wings are showing they can go pretty when appropriate and gritty when needed. Pavel Datsyuk's blistering beauty supplied much-needed oxygen and a 3-1 lead in the third period. Earlier, Gustav Nyquist unleashed magical moves to beat Crawford for the first goal.

But getting down and dirty isn't a problem for these Wings, such as when fourth-liners Patrick Eaves and Drew Miller combined for a bang-at-the-net goal. Miller scored after an exhausting three-plus-minute shift, when the Blackhawks simply wouldn't give up the puck. He sounded equally pleased with his penalty-kill as he was with the goal.

"We've got guys whose job is to hit and provide energy," Miller said. "That's kind of how we play. We want to hit, and it's playoff time, so we ramp it up."

If Detroit can't quite match Chicago's skill, it's determined to match everything else. That means Howard standing tough, holding off the swarming with spectacular steadiness, if that makes sense. That means agitating stars Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa into utter frustration, watching the Blackhawks like hawks. The Blackhawks got their chances — 40-30 in shots — but if they've evolved into what the Red Wings once were, there's a downside to it.